Tuesday, October 5, 2010
This is what I have of Ben. A small wooden box of ashes.
A box that, at some point in their lives, and more than once, both of my living children have picked up, shaken, and asked me what's inside.
When I don't reply with an answer to their question, they normally say, "Sand?"
And I say, "Yes, something like that."
The other day James asked if we could open it, and I said no. "Why not?" he asked.
I replied, "Because everything inside would spill out."
"But you could put it back in again," he said.
How do you explain that this mysterious little box, so fun to shake and hear the "sand" inside, is what remains of the brother he will never get to know? How do you explain that his parents chose to burn the body of that brother so that, when we move from this place, we could take him with us?
I don't know.
There are so few answers to the questions that remain forever.